Council briefs: Signs for grads

Summary of council discussions from May 11

Signs for grads

Council approved a plan to place signs along the Grand Trunk pathway for the 2020 graduating class from Caledonia Secondary School. There will be approximately 150 election-style signs, each bearing the photo of a grad, from June 15 – 21.

“They would be there to celebrate and recognize each of those graduating students,” said David Block, director of development services. “This graduating class has had their year-end disrupted with the COVID pandemic. They are unable to experience the typical grad ceremonies or events.”

The signs will be installed, managed, and taken down by a parent/grad committee from the school.

Financial plan officially adopted

The City’s 2020 – 2024 financial plan has been officially adopted, following some major changes to the 2020 budget in response to the pandemic.

Lori Greenlaw, director of finance, highlighted a few key points to council in a presentation before the financial plan bylaw was voted upon.

She said the City is extending the date on which penalties apply for late property tax payments. Taxes are still due July 2, as usual, but no penalty will be immediately collected if that date is missed. But a second due date, Sept. 30 at 4:30 p.m., has been established, after which a 10 per cent penalty will apply. This is a temporary adjustment for 2020 only, as it is one of the tools municipalities were granted by the Province to help weather the pandemic situation

Greenlaw also noted that residential property taxes make up 44% of the City’s tax revenue in 2020, up from 43% in 2019, while major industrial property taxes make up 2% this year, down from 3% last year.

She said that shift is due to altered assessment values, rather than a change in City policy. Property assessments in B.C. are handled by the provincial government.

5200 Mountain Vista Dr. reconstruction project

A road reconstruction project on the 5200 block of Mountain Vista Dr. is estimated to cost $200,000 more than initially budgeted.

The project will include replacing part of the road, and water and sewage infrastructure, while adding a sidewalk. The project will cover approximately 365 metres of roadway.

Rob Schibli, director of public works, said the increase over budget is mainly due to special conditions at that part of the road.

“The most significant impact is the difficulty working around all the existing shallow utilities on the street,” he said, adding that water line installation is going to cost much more than originally anticipated for this job. “We are not employing our full standard reconstruction of the roadway. We’re leaving much of the base gravels in place, so it makes installation of water [infrastructure] more costly.”

The cost of the project is now expected to be around $645,000, up from the budgeted amount of $440,000.

Schibli said the modified project will still cost less than a standard full road reconstruction.

“It, in the long run, is still good value for the taxpayer. A full reconstruction of this section of road was estimated at just over $1 million, and we’re coming in at $645,000, so a savings of $350,000 over a standard project,” he told council.

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